April 10, 2008, 04:12 PM ET
'Battle of the Brains' Crowns Top Computing College
And the winner is….the St. Petersburg State University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics!
The Russian university emerged yesterday as the home of the top computer whizzes in the “Battle of the Brains,” also known as the Association for Computing Machinery’s International Collegiate Programming Contest, which is sponsored by IBM.
In the contest, each team of three students is given 11 computer programming problems, and only five hours in which to write software to solve them. The challenges included writing code to determine the length of a city skyline, map the size and capacity of a new building design, and cracking an encrypted file to obtain the top secret information it holds.
St. Petersburg State solved eight of the 11 problems, edging out the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, whose team solved seven.
The top 10 institutions —out of 1,821 whose teams entered the preliminary rounds of the contest — were:
1: St. Petersburg State University of IT, Mechanics and Optics 2: Massachusetts Institute of Technology 3: Izhevsk State Technical University 4: Lviv National University 5: Moscow State University 6: Tsinghua University 7: Stanford University 8: University of Zagreb 9: University of Waterloo 10: Petrozavodsk State University